New Zealand takes a strong stance . . .
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is showing her leadership on the international stage even while her governing coalition has a slim majority with a three-seat margin. In her speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Ardern called for more collaboration to build safe, compassionate, and empathetic societies, and to address climate change. She has also had several bilateral meetings, including with leaders from Fiji, Iceland, Pakistan, and the U.S.
Online hate, climate action front-and-centre . . .
At the UN, Ardern called for more collaboration on the ‘Christchurch Call to Action,’ which she announced in Paris in May. The Christchurch Call to Action, New Zealand’s response to terrorist attacks on the Muslim community in Christchurch in March, seeks collective, voluntary commitments from governments and online service providers to prevent people from abusing the internet to promote and sensationalize acts of terrorism. The Call now has buy-in from 48 countries, eight online platforms (including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube), and three organizations. On climate action, Ardern said that New Zealand would lead the way on international collaboration on sustainable agriculture. She also suggested that climate change brings opportunities to rethink collaborative trade in energy, transport, manufacturing, waste management, and agriculture.
Collaborating with like-minded middle powers . . .
Canada has supported the Christchurch Call since its inception, but with so many commonalities between the two countries, Canada should find ways of developing closer ties and further collaborating with New Zealand and other like-minded middle and small powers in the Asia Pacific on issues such as gun control, climate action, and sustainable trade. As countries increasingly retreat amid populist waves, New Zealand’s leadership on multilateral stages points to potential partnership opportunities for Ottawa.